I recently wrote a blog post which calculated how many retail chain stores were planning to expand their toy departments (see: "24,879 Expanded Toy Departments; Macy's, Kohl's, JC Penney and More"). But what does that really tell us about how we are doing in replacing the lost 739 Toys "R" Us stores? To find out I did a square footage calculation.
First I estimated the size of an average Toys "R" Us store as 30,000 square feet. I then multiplied that number times 739 stores, the number of U.S. stores prior to the liquidation. That gave me a total amount of square footage of 22,170,000 square feet.
739 Toys "R" Us stores x 30,000 square feet = 22,170,000 square feet
Then I calculated the total number of square feet in the 24,879 expanded toy departments. There is really no way to know, at this time, how many square feet each retailer is adding but I thought it safe to calculate an average of one new four foot section, five feet high per store (20 square feet). The total square footage, based upon this calculation is 497,580 square feet.
24,879 Expanded Retail Departments x 20 square feet = 497,580 square feet
That means that we have made up only a small percentage of the lost Toys "R" Us footage.
A few caveats:
1. This calculation only reflects bricks and mortar stores. It does not include Internet sales which will be increasingly substantial.
2. The 4 foot section per new expansion calculation may be low.
3. The calculation does not include independent retailers or chains which have decided to expand their toy departments but have not made an announcement.
Bottom line we are on our way to a recovery but there is still a lot of ground to be made up. Which retailers, big or small, will make up the rest of the gap? It will be interesting to see.